Watch debate here.
Today Segolene Royal and former UDF challenger Francois Bayrou debated in Paris on live TV, and the general feeling among Socialist leaders is that Royal made the best of the opportunity.
The hour and 45 minute debate was really more of a dialogue, and although both made clear that this was not the beginning of any formal cooperation, there was little to no animosity on either side.
"This event without precedent underlines the modernization of the political life and the need to leave the confrontation of block against bloc...I do not seek to convince Francois Bayrou...(but) to walk some of the way together...(to maintain) direct dialogue with the French."
Royal relieved many socialists by not budging even an inch on her 100 point "presidential pact", even joking at one point to Bayrou that "You are an excellent defender of the presidential pact!"
UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy spent the day criticizing the debate:
"There they are, the two of them, in a big hotel, chatting together. I, I am in the midst of the French people."
...but that only seemed to invigorate the Socialists' praise. And if anything was identical among those voices, it was that the only loser in today's debate was the one candidate not present.
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